Burr, Murray Applaud Senate Passage of Poison Control Bill

Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) applauded his colleagues in the Senate for passing S. 2932, the Poison Center Support, Enhancement, and Awareness Act of 2008, which he sponsored along with Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington). This bi-partisan legislation would continue support of the nation's poison control centers. By reauthorizing the poison center national toll-free number, national media campaign, and state grant program.

"The expert assistance provided by poison centers like Carolinas Poison Center, is available to families and hospitals 24 hours a day and significantly reduces the number of emergency room visits and associated health care costs for poisonings," Burr said. "We must renew our commitment to the nation's poison centers so they can continue to be a resource in detecting and monitoring public health emergencies."

"This is a major step toward ensuring that the millions of Americans who rely on the Poison Control network every year will continue to have emergency help just a phone call away," said Senator Murray. "The Poison Control network is literally a lifeline for anxious parents with little time to spare and nowhere else to turn. Passage of this bill means that parents around the country can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that we are committed to renewing this vital service that protects them and their families."
The poison center national toll-free number, national media campaign, and state grant program provide assistance for the national network of poison control centers. There are currently 61 poison control centers (PCCs) nationwide, including the Carolinas Poison Center in North Carolina. The Carolinas Poison Center is an emergency telephone service that is operated 24 hours a day by specialists including registered nurses and pharmacists. These professionals provide advice and treatment for victims of poisoning and provide assistance for healthcare professionals as well. Additionally, Carolinas Poisons Center facilitates community outreach and school programs to help spread awareness of the dangers of unintentional poisoning and they provide educational materials.

The toll-free nationwide poison control hotline number is 1-800-222-1222.